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Topic Title: Royal Charter granted to ABE ( The Association of Building Engineers )
Topic Summary: Members and Fellows may describe themselves as Chartered Building Engineers
Created On: 22 July 2013 01:40 PM
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 30 July 2013 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by: amillar
But there is no reason for someone holding EngTech not to be more senior than someone with IEng/CEng in terms of organisational or financial responsibility*. If they try to assert technical authority, however, they may find themselves on shaky ground (if the IEng/Ceng has any sense they'll tell them exactly where to go!)

And maybe there will be occasions when the CEng is on shaky ground. I know a few CEng who no longer directly work in engineering so I do not really see how they have this technical authority. The IET/EC do not require CPD and do not review a persons status to see if they are still practicing so I do not think we can be 100% confident about the status. Maybe in your case you are highly competent and have such authority and in which case I certainly am not going to speak against your competency, but let's not fool ourselves that all those with CEng have more technical authority than all those who do not. I think overall they should do, but I would not guarantee it.

Your directors are your bosses and you are allowed to do your job on their say so and I am sure they did/do more day to day assessment of your competency than the IET ever did. If you mess up they will stop your work regardless of what the IET/EC says about your competency, and whilst the IET/EC will likely do nothing. I tend to think the differences between IEng and CEng are not so great and they should be merged, else IEng should be repositioned. Whilst I accept CEng is a reasonably decent validation of competency, it is but a small part of that assessment and the biggest part is often not seen because no certificate is issued.
Hierarchies can, and in a healthy organisation do, work in multiple directions. I can overrule my manager on technical issues, equally I can be overruled by a member of my staff on (e.g.) safety or compliance issues (and, indeed, purely technical issues if they have more expertise in that area than I do). It works absolutely fine because we work on the principle of mutual respect for each other's competencies.

Good point and it shows it can work. Thank you.
I am amazed in the UK in the 21st century at the sheer level of snobbishness and class obsessiveness that this discussion always brings up - it's like going back to the 1960s (which I do - just - remember).

I know people with little who are snobs and millionaires with businesses who are not. Snobbishness is about the person and not the status. You see snobbishness and class obsessiveness in what people write whereas I see a discussion whereby some people have different wants, experiences and opinions etc. I may disagree with you but I try to keep an open mind and understand your point of view and see where it is coming from, after all your experience and knowledge is real and valid.
I blame the Daily Mail (not necessarily for this particularly, I just blame it for everything). How about accepting that we are all members of the species Homo Sapiens but each with different skills and abilities that we can bring to the mix?

Are the people at the Daily Mail also not equal? Great suggestion you make and I would suggest that if that is the case then also non registered engineers are also equal in which case why bother gaining a professional status? The reason of course is to have a minimum validation of a persons competency. But if that then means the registered engineer has a higher authority than the non resigtered engineer then it allows for the possibility that the different levels of registration can have different levels of authority. Different levels of authority lends itself to a hierarchy and there is nothing wrong with that providing each status is duly respected.

I do not pretend to have all the answers but I think we should discuss everything and take on all points of view and point out the weaknesses and gaps and then set about finding good solutions.

Actually there's a FAR FAR more interesting discussion to be had - and in fact is being had all over the place - about the relevance of management qualifications and certifications to seniority. Still, I've just started applying for CMgr** to be on the safe side...

I am sure if you start a thread people will join in the discussion.


Edited: 30 July 2013 at 09:46 PM by westonpa
 30 July 2013 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by: amillar
Which is why you are free to hide behind an anonymous username, which would not be acceptable in a professional environment.

We are professional people speaking here and this is an environment and I am allowed an anonymous user name, so I guess the evidence proves otherwise. The world is changing and there are new environments and new ways of doing things, in addition to the traditional ways of course, and the new 'rules' are being written by the new game changers. I am all for it. Let me give an example, 3 + 3 = 6. That is correct I believe and if my name was Bob, Tom, Dilly or Milly or else %$#* it would still be correct.
I am not getting dragged into a flame war, which won't help anyone, so I will not respond further on this (i.e. this is the point in the pub where I would find someone else to chat to).

It's interesting because you go on about a flame war and yet there has not been one. I tend to think you wish to maintain your views and are not open minded enough to accept a challenge to them. I am comfortable in my views but am open to them being challenged because I do realise that I am not always correct. If your opinions are good enough then they should be able to withstand any challenge. Now of course if you want to sit in the pub and not spare the time to give your comments then fair enough, that is your choice and I can respect that. I tend to think you have a valid opinion and you make some points which need evidence to back them up. I may then disagree but at least it allows other prospective engineers who come to these forums to see a CEng robustly defend their views and maybe at the same time they will learn something which helps them along their way.

Critical Analysis is about critically anaysing what is written and it is not about disrespecting the person. Your experience is of course real and valid but other people do have different experiences and points of view. If the IET/EC were registering new IEng in vast numbers then it is less likely that we would be having some of these discussions, but they are not. Yes we could all go with Roy's point of view and just jolly well support the IET/EC in its methodology but it is the duty of professional people to challenge, where there are gaps and room for improvement.

Actually, whilst writing my last post I did think of a couple of examples which I can quickly and safely post (because they are in the public domain and do not involve my company processes): I have been involved in the drafting of several EN standards, I recently used this to advise one of my colleagues, who was not sure if he was CEng standard, that if he would feel confident lending his professional opinion to creating a new international standard then he was probably there. Similarly, the one time I can remember a similar issue causing problems in the office was when we recently applied for a patent: although many people were involved with the work that led up to it (building, testing, evaluating), the names on the patent had to be those who had come up with the inventive steps. Again, I think it's reasonable to say that if you're inventive enough to get your name on a patent you're inventive enough for CEng (of course you may not meet other criteria). Neither are foolproof guides, but hopefully they give the idea.

Fair points thanks and they do support the statement you made.


Edited: 30 July 2013 at 10:44 PM by westonpa
 30 July 2013 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by: pmiller2006

If anyone has time to spare, compare the requirements of each of the list of chartered professionals that Moshe has posted with the UK-SPEC IEng standard. I think you will find that the evidence supports my hypothesis that IEng is broadly equivalent to a number of other Chartered Professionals.

Unfortunately the proliferation of chartered titles has created a mindset that only 'chartered' equals professional so 'incorporated' is always going to lack desirability. The proposed changes to UKSpec, if implemented, will not improve the marketability IEng and are likely to increase the attractiveness of alternative technologist designations.

What is your suggest then with IEng, merge it with CEng, re position it or tweak the marketing a little but keep on with more or less the same approach?

 31 July 2013 10:18 AM
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I think that there is an overlap between two thread discussions, so with apology, I have posted the same comment in both.

Incorporated Engineers registered by the IET are the fourth largest constituency of Engineering Council registrants. It is important that as members of this constituency we challenge any negativity that we may encounter. For the moment we have to accept that a change of title is unlikely to gain acceptance, as we have pursued this unsuccessfully in the past. Reasonable debate is legitimate, but my position is that, IEng is a perfectly good title which designates perfectly good engineers.

We shouldn't have any difficulty in explaining IEng. We are professional engineers with management responsibility. We all have higher education qualifications or have proven ourselves to have strong knowledge of engineering through vocational achievement. Many of us have degrees, including higher degrees and some of us have achieved senior responsibility recognised by fellowship or professional recognition in other fields related to engineering, such as management.

Perhaps a little more distinctiveness to help us challenge some of the myths about IEng would be a benefit, but we shouldn't have to explain ourselves by reference to something else, an approach which will always lead to convoluted diluted messages, or negativity towards other professionals.

The other registration categories represent something different with similarities and overlaps, but distinguishing features of their own. One might be seen as the expert in practical techniques, often with highly developed craft skills or detailed knowledge of building, operating or maintaining specific engineered products and systems. The other might be "characterised by innovation creativity and change" or the users of deep knowledge and rigorous analysis, able to develop and exploit technology in new an unproven ways.

A well-known car brand ( I'm thinking of one from Eastern Europe - but an iconic British luxury brand was going the same way) was once the butt of jokes and rarely seen on respectable driveways. Perhaps it was once poor quality, which IEng has never been, or perhaps just a victim of prejudice? It is now one of the most respected brands with high customer satisfaction and excellent reviews. It will probably never appeal to those seeking a prestige symbol to impress, but is that really what professional registration should be about? Most engineers aren't naturally "showy", but those who join the professionally registered community are showing a wish to be recognised and respected for their achievements. To summarise advice I saw from the Privy Council (the ultimate authority for professional titles in the UK) recently, "the main purpose of these titles is to inform, not to impress or aggrandize".

A complex pattern of relative respect and therefore relative status or hierarchy will always exist, this is a normal part of every social group and society in general. The IET is by definition, in the business of developing professionalism amongst and promoting the status of our members. How we do that, will be influenced by the social norms of the time, of which snobbery in its various forms will always be a part. Since the IET has defined itself as an inclusive body for engineers and technicians, there isn't a legitimate reason for overt snobbery between IET members. There is plenty of reason for healthy debate, fair criticism, specialist groups and even some good natured knockabout banter (of course electricians are smarter than mechanimals!).


The principle of my argument applies equally to a Technician (Eng Tech/ICT Tech) or Royal Academician (FREng) who as individuals may superficially have very different circumstances, priorities and social connections, but as IET members share much in common, sometimes including having held similar jobs.

Technician members of the IET are the twelfth largest constituency of Engineering Council Registrants.

Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards

Edited: 31 July 2013 at 10:44 AM by roybowdler
 31 July 2013 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by: pmiller2006

[I]I get the feeling the Engineering Council are probably going to reposition it at a lower level. If CEng is strengthened so that they are the only ones who sign off on designs or are responsible for allocating resources you are effectively lowering the bar for IEng registration without comprising engineering integrity.

My own personal view is that IEng should be a niche qualification aimed only at engineering operations and manufacturing, i.e. not the design office. There should be an additional 'chartered engineering technologist 'qualification for those working in the digital business economy.

At the moment, I don't think that even the Engineering Council have a clear understanding of what IEng is, hence their inability to market it.

Registration is optional so that's not going to work is it,
and what's stopping companies employing IEng or Eng techs to manage CEng registered employees.


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